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Michael Baumgartner

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 25, 1931; d New York, NY, Nov 22, 2011). American jazz drummer and composer. He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where he began playing guitar and drums at the age of 12. During the Korean War he studied at the Navy School of Music in Washington before being stationed in Brooklyn from November 1953. After his discharge in September 1954 he moved to New York, entered the Manhattan School of Music and took private lessons on drums and timpani. In the mid- to late 1950s he accompanied various musicians, including Tony Scott, Stan Getz, Oscar Pettiford (in both his quintet and big band), Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. In 1956 Motian began collaborating with Bill Evans, appearing on the pianist’s first album. Subsequently he was the drummer in Evans’s first and second trios (1959–64). He continued his career as an experienced drummer of piano trios, first with Paul Bley’s group (...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

revised by Yozo Iwanami

(b Nagoya, Japan, Jan 21, 1949). Japanese trombonist and leader. He left Doshisha University, Kyoto, to embark on a career as a musician. Having first worked with the alto saxophonist Yoshio Otomo, Ryo Kawasaki, and Hiroshi Fukumura, he formed his own group, which performed at the first Shinjuku Jazz Festival to some acclaim. Later he worked with the group Spik and Span, recorded with Terumasa Hino (1975), and played with Kazumi Watanabe, Yosuke Yamashita, Akira Sakata, and other Japanese musicians, as well as with Elvin Jones, Billy Hart, and the Brazilian samba singer João Bosco. In the 1990s he led the J Quintet, the 4 Brass Ensemble Orchestra (for which he has written arrangements), and other groups. Mukai teaches at the Senzoku School of Music.

(recorded for Columbia–Better Days unless otherwise indicated)

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Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, March 14, 1948). Japanese drummer and leader. He took up drums at the age of 15 and made his professional début with Takehiro Honda’s trio in 1967. During the following decade or so he performed with Masabumi Kikuchi (1969–72, 1973), Sadao Watanabe (1972, 1975), Kosuke Mine and Honda (both 1976–7), and Native Son, led by Honda and Mine (1978–81). After living intermittently in the USA he settled in Japan in 1983. Murakami led his own ensembles from 1981, and he also performed with the group led by the alto saxophonist Hidefumi Toki from 1996 and with Manabu Oishi’s trio from 1997.

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Kazunori Sugiyama

[Ponta ]

(b Nishinomiya, Japan, Jan 1, 1951). Japanese drummer and leader. He started on french horn at the age of 12, took up timpani and other classical percussion when he was 16, and then changed to drums. In 1972 he began working professionally and joined groups led by Sadao Watanabe, Yosuke Yamashita, Kazumi Watanabe, Akira Sakata, and Takashi Kako, among many others. In ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Shizuoka, Japan, July 25, 1963). Japanese trombonist and leader. He took up trombone at the age of 13 and played professionally from his college years. In 1985 he formed a quartet, and from the following year he played with Sadao Watanabe’s big band and with Orquesta de la Lus, a popular Japanese band which plays a Latin repertory. He has composed music for films, television dramas, and commercials, and has written arrangements for numerous Japanese pop bands. In the 1990s Murata led the group Solid Brass (from ...

Article

Mark Gilbert

(b Baku, USSR [now Azerbaijan], Dec 19, 1969). Azerbaijani pianist and singer, daughter of Vagif Mustafa-Zade. In the 1960s and 1970s both her father and her mother, the singer Eliza Khanom, strove for a synthesis of jazz and mugam, the improvised modal music of Azerbaijan. After studying classical piano at the conservatory in Baku, she moved to Germany in 1991 and began to record as a leader; among her sidemen have been Chick Corea, John Patitucci, Dave Weckl, Al Di Meola, Stanley Clarke, Omar Hakim, Bill Evans (iii), Toot Thielemans, and Philip Catherine. Her performances typically involve a dramatic blend of jazz, mugam, and avant-garde and classical music.

(all recorded for Columbia)

CarrJ “Aziza Mustafa Zadeh,” JP, 40/6 (1991), 3 W. Minor: “Aziza Mustafa Zadeh: an Unzipped Soul,” JF...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(b Baku, Azerbaijan SSR [now Azerbaijan], March 16, 1940; d Tashkent, Uzbek SSR [now Uzbekistan], Dec 17, 1979). Azerbaijani pianist and composer, father of Aziza Mustafa Zadeh. Although Starr (1983) gives his surname as Mustafa-Zadeh, all of his recordings for Melodiya give it as Mustafa-Zade. After attending music school in Baku (graduating in 1959) he formed the trio Kavkaz in Tbilisi (Georgian SSR, now Georgia) and first gained prominence at the jazz festival in Tallinn (Estonian SSR, now Estonia) (1967). He led the Azerbaijan Variety Orchestra (1969–70), with which he also performed as a soloist, and in Baku he formed and led the groups Leili (1970–71), Sevil (1972–7), and Mugam (1977–9). His piano piece Expecting Aziza won the first prize at the competition for jazz compositions in Monaco (1979), and he wrote two piano concertos and music for the theater and films. A good example of Mustafa-Zade’s work is the album ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Oct 7, 1975). Japanese trombonist. His grandfather, father, and two uncles all became professional musicians; taught by family members, he began playing cornet at the age of two, piano at the age of three, and trombone when he was five, and he performed on a semi-regular basis with his father’s band from the time he was six. He appeared with Wild Bill Davison in the USA when he was only 12, and at the age of 16 was invited to a summer session at the Berklee College of Music. After completing a degree in composition at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in 1995 he made his début as a classical soloist the following year, performing with the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra. Nakagawa is active giving concerts, appearing in clubs, and undertaking studio work.

(all recorded for King)

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Jan 25, 1947). Japanese flutist and leader. He studied flute at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music (graduating in 1969) and continued with lessons under Jean-Pierre Rampal and others; at the same time he learned jazz theory under Sadao Watanabe and Masahiko Sato. Nakagawa was principally a classical performer in his early professional career and toured overseas extensively from ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Kyoto, Japan, Dec 1, 1963). Japanese trombonist and leader. He took up trombone in junior high school at the age of 14 and later performed in big bands, including the Tokyo Union Orchestra, Yosuke Yamashita’s Panja Swing Orchestra, that led by the trombonist Kenichi Tsunoda, and Orquesta de la Lus, a popular Japanese salsa band. With the group Nettai Jazz Gakudan he recorded the album ...

Article

Yozo Iwanami

(b Tokyo, March 3, 1942). Japanese bass player and record producer. He attended Nippon University in Tokyo and in 1964 moved to New York, where he studied double bass with Reggie Workman. In the mid-1970s he played both double bass and electric bass guitar in his own Rising Sun Band, which performed at many venues in New York, including The Kitchen, the Bottom Line, and the Village Gate; in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Kagoshima, Japan, March 15, 1933). Japanese guitarist and leader. He began guitar lessons at the age of 12 and, after graduating from high school, moved to Tokyo to become a jazz musician. While studying at Aoyama Gakuin University he performed with many groups. A pioneer of modern jazz guitar in Japan, he led a guitar trio, which included the double bass player Kunimitsu Inaba (from 1957), and appeared as a sideman with Sadao Watanabe (1960) and Takeshi Inomata and the West Liners (1962). In 1995 he became a member of a cooperative group with Norio Maeda and Inomata.

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Osaka, Japan, Dec 24, 1910; d Tokyo, Aug 4, 1975). Japanese trumpeter and leader. He learned cornet in a brass band at the age of 14, turned professional two years later, and when he was 19 spent seven months in Shanghai, where Teddy Weatherford taught him to improvise. After returning to Japan he participated in the emerging vogue for American-style swing bands, and in the mid-1930s he made several recordings on which his Hot Peppers accompanied the singer Dick Mine (including Dinah, 1934, Tei. SP5411); he also made, under his own name, the pairing Serenade/Last Round Up (1936, Col. SPJ28937). During this era a number of Japanese big bands were modeled after those of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and others, but Nanri was among the few Japanese musicians who could improvise in an idiomatic jazz style in the pre-war years, and Last Round Up, a duo in which he is supported by a guitarist, is considered to be the first solo recording by a Japanese jazz musician. Nanri led his Hot Peppers in Dairen, Manchuria, from ...

Article

Megan E. Hill

(b Osaka, Japan, 1957). Jazz and blues pianist, singer, and composer of Japanese birth. She took piano lessons briefly as a child and was exposed to the blues while growing up in Osaka in the 1960s and 1970s. As a high school student, she formed the Yoko Blues Band with classmates. The band earned some success, winning first prize and a recording contract in a television-sponsored contest. In 1984 she moved to the United States to pursue a jazz and blues career in Chicago. Initially a singer, she studied piano with boogie, blues, and jazz pianist Erwin Helfer. In the early 1990s Noge established the Jazz Me Blues Band, which has played regularly in Chicago since its formation. In addition to Noge on piano and vocals, the ensemble has included Noge’s husband, Clark Dean, on soprano saxophone, saxophonist Jimmy Ellis, trombonist Bill McFarland, and bassist Tatsu Aoki. In addition to playing more conventional jazz and blues, Noge has made a name for herself through the unique compositions she has written for the group, which meld Japanese folk music styles with Chicago blues. Active in the broader Asian American community, she cofounded the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Kyoto, Japan, Oct 20, 1957). Japanese pianist, leader, and arranger. He took piano lessons from the ages of four to 12, joined his father’s group, the Kyoto Bel-Ami All Stars, in 1974, and in 1977 moved to Tokyo. There he joined George Kawaguchi’s band and performed with Toshiyuki Honda’s group Burning Waves, Sadao Watanabe, a band co-led by Motohiko Hino and Joe Henderson (1988), Terumasa Hino, Yoshio Suzuki, Kimiko Itoh, Shunzo Ohno, and others. He recorded frequently with musicians in Los Angeles. His own groups included Noriki (1983–6), Pole Pole I’s (1988–90), and a trio (from 1998). Noriki maintains an active career as a studio musician and arranges music for films and television.

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Fukuoka, Japan, Sept 27, 1927). Japanese tenor saxophonist and leader. He played piano from the age of 13, took up alto saxophone in a navy band in 1943, and changed to the tenor instrument two years later to play jazz. Having been a member of the groups Tokyo Jive and Gay Septet, he launched his own Prez Six (later Prez Nine as well) in 1956. In the 1960s he composed a few Japanese pop hits. He formed the Great Jazz Quintet with Hank Jones in 1989 and performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival several times. Oda was known throughout his career as “Japanese Prez” because of his devotion to Lester Young’s style.

Article

Yozo Iwanami

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Gifu, Japan, March 22, 1949). Japanese trumpeter. After moving to Tokyo he worked with the alto saxophonist Keiichiro Ebihara and his Lobsters (from 1968), Takeshi Inomata’s group Sound Limited, and the group Soul Media, led by the tenor saxophonist Jiro Inagaki. From 1971 to 1973 he performed in George Otsuka’s quintet, and in New York from 1973 to 1975 he was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He then played with Roy Haynes and Norman Connors, recorded as a leader (from 1975), and with Machito recorded two albums (1982) and performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague. In 1983 he became a sideman in Gil Evans’s orchestra, and between 1985 and 1987 he made tours of Japan with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Larry Coryell in the band Super Sounds. After injuring his lips in an automobile accident in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Yokohama, Japan, April 2, 1963). Japanese pianist and keyboard player. He began on electronic organ at the age of eight and changed to piano when he was 18. Later he performed and recorded with numerous groups, including those of the alto saxophonist Hidefumi Toki (from 1990), Motohiko Hino (...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama and Barry Kernfeld

(b Kobe, Japan, Sept 10, 1941). Japanese trumpeter and flugelhorn player. He grew up in a musical family and learned koto from the age of ten; his mother was a master teacher of that traditional instrument. In 1955 he began to study trumpet in a brass band in high school, and some time afterwards he took lessons from Fumio Nanri. From 1959 he played in a dixieland band while studying architecture at Osaka Industrial University. Around 1956, when Kenny Dorham was performing in Osaka, Oki discovered bop and briefly studied with Dorham; later he went to Tokyo to study with Sadao Watanabe. He played in groups led by the double bass player Nobusuke Miyamoto (1965), the pianist Yoku Tamura (1965–8), Kosuke Mine (1968–70), and the tenor saxophonist Akio Nishimura (1970–73), and formed the group ESSG with Masahiko Togashi, Masahiko Sato, and the saxophonist Mototeru Takagi (...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama and Barry Kernfeld

[Toru ]

(b Ashita, Japan, March 21, 1950). Japanese trumpeter and leader. Self-taught, he took up trumpet at the age of 11. While attending Kansei Gakuin University he performed with Terumasa Hino and Sadao Watanabe, among others. He led a quintet at a number of clubs in 1971, and then following his graduation he married in 1972 and traveled across the USA on his honeymoon; having arrived on the East Coast he chose to remain in Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music. Graduating in 1975, he toured the USA with Buddy Rich’s orchestra later that same year and in 1976 began teaching at Berklee. Okoshi accompanied Tony Bennett (1976), toured worldwide and recorded (1978) with Gary Burton, and played with George Russell and Dave Liebman. During the same period he founded his own group, Tiger’s Baku, which made its first recording in 1980; his sidemen at various times included Mike Stern, Bill Frisell, Vinnie Colaiuta, Tommy Campbell, and Kermit Driscoll. In ...